Lawsuits in Four Caribbean Countries Challenge Colonial-era Sodomy Laws

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08/08/2019

LGBTI people in four Caribbean countries over the last year have filed lawsuits against their nations’ colonial-era sodomy laws. Javin Johnson and Sean Macleish on July 26 filed a lawsuit against two laws in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations. Daryl Phillip, founder of Minority Rights Dominica, and Maurice Tomlinson, a senior policy analyst at the Toronto-based HIV Legal Network, on July 18 announced a gay man who remains anonymous filed a lawsuit against Dominica’s sodomy law. Tomlinson, who was born in Jamaica, on Aug. 18, 2018, challenged his homeland’s sodomy law with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Alexa Hoffmann, a transgender activist in Barbados, along with a gay man and a lesbian woman on June 6, 2018, filed a lawsuit against their country’s sodomy law with the same commission.

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